7. Philadelphia: Half Day Small Group Tour & Independence Hall
Your tour will begin with your local guide picking you up directly from your hotel in downtown Philadelphia. You pass by key historical points of interest such as the Betsy Ross House, the Ben Franklin Burial, the First Bank, and the Ben Franklin House on your way to Independence Hall.
Step back in time while at Independence Hall, which is known as the birthplace of America, and is most famous for its role in American independence. While there, you will be able to view the historic Liberty Bell. Easily recognizable because of its crack, the Liberty Bell remains significant today for its message of liberty. Abolitionists, women's suffrage activists, civil rights leaders and others have all used this bell as their symbol in the fight for equality.
At Independence Hall you will also have the opportunity to visit the Second Bank, which houses a collection of over 100 portraits, many of them by 18th Century artist Charles Willson Peale. Marvel at the Greek Revival architecture and the faces of the leaders of the Revolutionary Era.
You can’t go to Philadelphia without making a stop at the Rocky Steps. A near-constant flow of people arrive daily at the bottom of the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to snap a picture with the Rocky statue, originally created for a scene in Rocky III and now a real-life monument for the beloved fictional hero. Running up the grand stairway, mimicking the famous two-arms-raised salute, and soaking up the view of the city is a must while in Philadelphia. You’ll also get a chance to see the Washington Monument Fountain and The Oval while you’re there. Don’t forget to take photos!
You will be in awe of the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site - the first true “penitentiary.” What was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world stands today in ruin as a haunting world of crumbling cell blocks and empty guard towers. At one point, the cells held many of America’s most notorious lawbreakers, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone. This stop is sure to peak your interest.
Your guide will take you on a scenic city drive, passing by such points of interest as the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation, the Franklin Institute, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul, Love Park, and City Hall.
What’s a trip to Philadelphia without trying a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich? You will stop by the Reading Terminal Market to grab this tasty snack. This location is one of America’s largest and oldest public markets, housed since 1893 in a National Historic Landmark building. Along with Philly Cheese Steak, the market offers an incredible selection of locally grown and exotic produce, locally sourced meats and poultry, the finest seafood, cheeses, baked goods, and confections, and the widest variety of restaurants under one roof.
After a full day of adventure, your guide will return you to your downtown Philadelphia hotel where you can unwind and reflect on your memories from the day.